3

Louis Durra: The Best of Both Possible Worlds

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Versatile pianist Louis Durra is no stranger to genre bending experiments. His resume as a recording artist includes sessions with church choirs and musical casts, as well as Christmas discs and those with his more mainstream jazz trio. On The Best of Both Possible Worlds, he interprets eight popular tunes ranging from light rock to reggae, in addition to two originals that seamlessly blend in with the album's overall concept.

Drummer Jerry Kalaf showcases his classical influences on his contribution, the mellifluous dance "Ersatz Waltz," enhancing the mood with his brush work, while bassist Larry Steen demonstrates his lyrical side on the acoustic version of his instrument. Complementing this piece is the trio's take on Radiohead's "No Surprises." Durra's sonata like pianism, Kalaf's shuffling percussion and Steen's rock solid lines build gorgeous harmonic flourishes.

The jazziest track is Durra's own "The Back Seat." Its cool tone and deceptively simple melody highlight the sublime camaraderie and the musical interplay among the group. Durra's relatively lengthy improvisations are repeated on a tighter reading of Bob Marley's classic, "No Woman No Cry."

Durra embellishes the melody of Bob Dylan's "Tangled Up In Blue," with its bluesy hints backed By Kalaf's hyper-rhythmic drums and Steen's deep, earthy, electric groove. The group's take on Feist's fluffy and sweet "1234" maintains the upbeat theme, creating a sugary lounge feel, with Durra's occasional spontaneity keeping the music tethered to jazz. In contrast, Tears for Fears' "Mad World" sounds like early Ahmad Jamal, thanks to Durra's deft utilization of silent pauses and lilting notes, and Steen's melodic bowed bass.

Certainly neither for hardcore fans nor purists this, nevertheless, engaging record that closes with DJ Rob Swift punctuating solos with rubs and scratches, is a good introductory portal to jazz from the world of more crowd-pleasing music.

Track Listing: Tangled Up In Blue; Ersatz Waltz; The Bends; After Bends; Mad World; The Back Seat; No Surprises; 1234; After 1234; Code Monkey; No Woman, No Cry; All I Really Want (feat. DJ Rob Swift); After DJ.

Personnel: Louis Durra: piano; Jerry Kalaf: drums; Larry Steen: bass; DJ Rob Swift: turntable, voice.

Title: The Best of Both Possible Worlds | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Fountain Of Youth" CD/LP/Track Review Fountain Of Youth
by David A. Orthmann
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "The Elements" CD/LP/Track Review The Elements
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: August 25, 2017
Read "The Behemoth" CD/LP/Track Review The Behemoth
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "Platinum on Tap" CD/LP/Track Review Platinum on Tap
by Geannine Reid
Published: September 8, 2017
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "Adam's Apple" CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.